JICA project boost to Shillong-Dawki road

Umshyrpi-Mylliem to get four-lane road in two years under Indo-Japanese initiative

SHILLONG: The Centre’s initiative to tie up with Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to widen the 71.5 km road from Shillong to Dawki has gained momentum.
Conceptualised almost two years ago, the ambitious project worth Rs 1,251 crore is aimed at constructing a four-lane road from Umshyrpi to Mylliem and from there a two-lane road to Dawki-Tamabil. An additional bridge will be constructed over the Umshyrpi as part of the project.
PWD (Roads) Minister Martin Danggo had a meeting with the officials of National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) and JICA representative on Wednesday.
Danggo said negotiations were on with defence authorities to part with some portions of land in Upper Shillong for widening of the road. “We have received the feasibility report and DPR and what is left is to negotiate with both civil population and defence authorities for acquisition of land,” Danggo said.
The project is funded by the Japanese agency following an agreement signed by the Centre with Japan and NHIDCL will execute the project. Formed two years ago, NHIDCL was entrusted by the Centre to take up construction of crucial roads all over the North East.
Danggo said the project assumes significance due to the traffic flow on the route at a time when the Shillong-Nongstoin-Tura road is almost complete. Moreover, the Baghmara-Ranikor road project will also merge with the proposed road.
Nakamura Jun, who is part of the JICA study team, said the entire project is in the planning stage and the project will start depending on the outcome of environment and social impact assessment.
SK Deb, Deputy General Manager NHIDC, and Manager Q. Alam on Thursday met both Army and Air Force officials regarding the allotment of land for the project. “We got a positive feedback from the defence authorities and they asked us to submit the proposals,” Deb said.
While the requirement from the army is 3.21 hectares of land for the construction of 1.42 km road, 1.5 hectares of land will be required from the Air Force for the construction of 1.1 km road in Upper Shillong, Deb said.
Alam said the estimated cost of Rs 1,251 crore for the project will involve only civil works, including bridges, but this will not include land acquisition cost.
As far as the environment and social impact assessment is concerned, Naba Bhattacharjee was entrusted with the task.
Bhattacharjee said by next month, his team would be able to submit the report.
Sources said India has tied up with Japan for the project as it is strategically important.
Moreover, the Centre has special interest in the project considering the international trade through Dawki/Tamabil.
Besides the Shillong-Dawki road project, JICA has planned Tura-Dalu road project and another project from Phulbari to Tura.

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